Video Gaming History

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Space Invaders

Space Invaders is an arcade video game developed by Tomohiro Nishikado and released in 1978. It was originally manufactured and sold by Taito in Japan, and was later licensed for production in the United States by the Midway division of Bally.

Space Invaders is one of the earliest shooting games and the aim is to defeat waves of aliens with a laser cannon to earn as many points as possible. In designing the game, Nishikado drew inspiration from popular media: Breakout, The War of the Worlds, and Star Wars. To complete it, he had to design custom hardware and development tools.

Retro Video Gaming - Space Invaders

Pac-Man

Pac-Man is an arcade game developed by Namco and first released in Japan on May 22, 1980. It was licensed for distribution in the United States by Midway and released in October 1980. Immensely popular from its original release to the present day, Pac-Man is considered one of the classics of the medium, virtually synonymous with video games, and an icon of 1980s popular culture.

Upon its release, the game and subsequently Pac-Man derivatives became a social phenomenon that sold a large amount of merchandise and also inspired, among other things, an animated television series and a top-ten hit single.

Retro Video Gaming - Pac-Man

Donkey Kong

The Donkey Kong is a series of video games featuring the adventures of a gorilla character called Donkey Kong, conceived by Shigeru Miyamoto in 1981. The franchise mainly comprises two different game genres, plus spin-off titles of various genres. The games of the first genre are mostly single-screen platform/action puzzle types, featuring Donkey Kong as the opponent against Mario in an industrial construction setting.

The original Donkey Kong game was the first appearance of Mario, Nintendo’s flagship character, pre-dating the well-known Super Mario Bros. by four years. Donkey Kong first made his appearance in the 1981 arcade machine called Donkey Kong in which he faced Jumpman (later renamed Mario).

Retro Video Gaming - Donkey Kong

Frogger

Frogger is a 1981 arcade game developed by Konami, and licensed for North American distribution by Sega-Gremlin. It is regarded as a classic from the golden age of video arcade games, noted for its novel gameplay and theme. The object of the game is to direct frogs to their homes one by one by crossing a busy road and navigating a river full of hazards.

The Frogger coin-op is an early example of a game with more than one CPU, as it used two Z80 processors. By 2005, Frogger in its various incarnations had sold 20 million copies worldwide, including 5 million in the United States.

Retro Video Gaming - Frogger

Defender

Defender is an arcade video game developed and released by Williams Electronics in February 1981. A shooting game featuring two-dimensional (2D) graphics, the game is set on a fictional planet where the player must defeat waves of invading aliens while protecting astronauts.

Development was led by Eugene Jarvis, a pinball programmer at Williams; Defender was Jarvis’ first video game project and drew inspiration from Space Invaders and Asteroids. Williams planned to display the game at the Amusement and Music Operators Association (AMOA) trade show, though development delays resulted in the team working on the game up until the show started.

Retro Video Gaming - Defender

Star Wars

Star Wars is an arcade game produced by Atari Inc. and released in 1983. The game is a first person space simulator, simulating the attack on the Death Star from the 1977 film Star Wars. The game is composed of 3D colour vector graphics.

This game was developed during the Golden Age of Arcade Games and is considered the number 4 most popular game of all time according to the readers of Killer List of Videogames.The player assumes the role of Luke Skywalker (“Red Five”), as he pilots an X-wing fighter from a first-person perspective. Unlike other arcade games of similar nature, the player does not have to destroy every enemy in order to advance through the game

Retro Video Gaming - Star Wars

Breakout

Breakout is an arcade game developed and published by Atari Inc. It was conceptualized by Nolan Bushnell and Steve Bristow, influenced by the 1972 Atari arcade game Pong, and built by Steve Wozniak aided by Steve Jobs. The game was ported to multiple platforms and upgraded to video games such as Super Breakout.

In addition, Breakout was the basis and inspiration for books, video games, film, and the Apple II personal computer. In the game, a layer of bricks lines the top third of the screen. A ball travels across the screen, bouncing off the top and side walls of the screen. When a brick is hit, the ball bounces away and the brick is destroyed. The player loses a turn when the ball touches the bottom of the screen. To prevent this from happening, the player has a movable paddle to bounce the ball upward, keeping it in play.

Retro Video Gaming - Breakout

Head On

Head On is an arcade game developed in 1979 by Sega. In this game, players control their cars through the maze where the goal is to collect the dots while avoiding collisions with the computer-controlled car that is also collecting dots.

It was an early maze game revolved around collecting dots and is considered a precursor to Namco’s 1980 hit Pac-Man.

Retro Video Gaming - Head On